KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 14 — The National Poison Centre has received two cases of poisoning involving the use of the Ivermectin drug in the country.
The Health Ministry (MOH), in a statement posted on its official Facebook today, stated that the first case involved a 35-year-old who experienced shortness of breath for up to five days after taking the drug.
“The second case involved a senior citizen who was found unconscious after allegedly taking 15 pills of Ivermectin at one go,” read the statement.
Unfortunately, it said, there is no antidote or specific treatment for this case of poisoning and advised the pubic against taking Ivermectin for self-treatment.
According to MOH, the drug was found to be sold illegally as Ivermectin has not been approved for use as a treatment or prevention of COVID-19 infection in Malaysia.
It said taking Ivermectin without in-depth study and improper dosage can result in poisoning as well as adverse effects such as vomiting, diarrhoea, abdominal pain and dizziness.
Last June 5, Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah was reported as saying that MOH and the Institute for Clinical Research (ICR) had started clinical trials to study the use and efficacy of Ivermectin for high-risk Covid-19 patients at 12 hospitals under the ministry.
He also said that Ivermectin is a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved anti-parasitic drug widely used for treating several neglected tropical diseases, including onchocerciasis, strongyloidiasis and helminthiases.
However, the evidence is inconclusive to recommend routine use of Ivermectin for Covid-19 patients, he added.